Start the Year with a Commitment to Health

The golden rules to New Year goal setting & executing on your New Year’s health goals:

1. Set goals instead of resolutions, and then break them down into micro-goals.
2. Be consistent.
3. Take control in the kitchen.
4. Enlist a friend to engage in a similar goal, and hold each other accountable.
5. Document your successes.
6. Reward yourself.

10 Ways to Lose Weight

You only need to reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories a day for 1 week to lose about 1 pound. Do it for a month, and you’ll easily lose 4 pounds:

1. Keep junk food out of the house. 
2. Bulk up your meals with steamed or raw veggies.
3. Use a small plate.
4. Don’t drink your calories. Stick to water or green tea which helps stabilize blood sugar and reduces cravings.
5. Use less sauce.
6. Cook your own food. Restaurant and take-out food is high in salt and butter or other fat.
7. Don’t eat bread with your meal.
8. Instead of a full dessert, take a bite or two or one square of dark chocolate.
9. Drink water before you eat so your stomach is a bit full.
10. Set a peaceful mood and eat slowly. Listen to relaxing music and light a candle.

4 Ways to Include More Antioxidants in Your Diet

Think color. Carotenoids are important antioxidants and are the red, orange and yellow plant pigments that give fruits and vegetables their vivid colors. All fruits and vegetables contain varying concentrations of carotenoids, but their colors are often covered up by green chlorophyll in the plant. The important thing is to get a balance of carotenoids.

1. Lutein and zeaxanthin, found in corn and leafy greens such as kale and spinach, provide antioxidant protection in the macular region of the eye.1 Include sautéed spinach or greens in your breakfast to insure you’re getting in the daily suggested amount of veggies.
2. Astaxanthin, found in salmon, shrimp and other seafoods, has potent antioxidant properties.2 Eat at least one serving of salmon a week.
3. Lycopene is found primarily in tomato products, and alpha carotene largely in carrots. The best way to obtain lycopene is to cook tomatoes in oil – think tomato sauce. This is especially important to men’s prostate health.
4. Top your oatmeal with canned peaches in winter, fresh peaches in summer for beta-carotene.

6 Ways to Reduce Carbs in Your Diet

1. Substitute spaghetti squash for pasta.
2. Include protein at every meal and eliminate bread.
3. Eliminate sugar-sweetened drinks, including fruit juice.
4. Reduce your intake of alcohol.
5. Replace milk with almond, oat or coconut milk unless you depend on cow’s milk for calcium. (Milk contains lactose, a type of sugar, which is a carb.)
6. Include non-starchy veggies in your diet. Instead of eating potatoes, eat low-carb veggies such as: asparagus, broccoli, peppers, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, spinach, kale, mushrooms, green beans, cauliflower, and zucchini.

10 Ways to Commit to Getting More Exercise

It’s been heavily documented that regular exercise helps our overall health as well as mental health. Monika Fleshner, Ph.D., professor and director of the Stress Physiology Laboratory at the University of Colorado, Boulder says, “Based on the research that my colleagues and I have done, we know that regular physical activity promotes stress robustness (resistance to stress), and changes the way the brain and body respond to stressors. Regular physical activity is good for your body and mind.”

Experts say you should aim for 150 minutes of exercise a week, 30 minutes a day five days a week.

1. Check in with your physician before starting a new exercise program.
2. Buy a pair of comfortable athletic shoes.
3. Schedule regular neighborhood walks.
4. Check out Dr. Oz’s 4- minute and 7-minute workouts on YouTube.
5. Plan your workouts for a time that works for you.
6. Find a virtual class—yoga, Pilates, Barre fitness, Zumba and more are offered through the YMCA for free if you have Silver Sneakers. There are hundreds of other classes available online. 7. Remember this mantra: when you least want to exercise is when you need it the most. Of course you should opt out when you’re ill.
8. Go for a hike. It won’t feel like exercise and the fresh air will do you good.
9. Put on your favorite dance music and dance in your living room as though no one is watching.
10. Celebrate your progress by rewarding yourself!
New Year Goal Setting

Overall

Here’s to a new year and a happier, healthier YOU. You can implement your own tips and tricks for sticking by these guidelines for weight loss. For example, when you crave something to munch on grab pre-cut celery and carrot sticks to dip in low-fat plain yogurt. Add your favorite spice (not salt) for taste. Or eat air-popped popcorn and don’t add butter. Avoid micro-wave popcorn since the bag lining contains diacetyl, a toxic chemical. Remember, goals are met by winning each day, one day at a time!

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